Pierre Hermé's Sablés Viennois - Butter Cookies

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Remember those ubiquitous blue tins that you see in everyone's households when you visit? Danish butter cookies sold under the brands: Kjeldsen's, Monde, Royal Dansk? The cookies that they offer you when you are invited for tea? The cookies that get sent out with invitations, that are present in gift baskets? Those tins that are usually gifted, and almost never regifted because they are actually devoured in the households that they find themselves in? Well you can just about fogettaboutit coz this recipe is Butter Cookies 5.8.

Never mind Butter Cookies 2.0, 3.4, 4.1 or 5.7. We are making giant leaps and bounds forwards with master patissier, Pierre Hermé's recipe right here and right now. And these cookies will forever change the way you look at that blue tin again.

These cookies are seriously super amazing and quite easy to make, the ingredients for which I'm sure you'll already have at home. You can enjoy them on their own, or make a double batch and dip that in chocolate. Ooh la la!  Everything's better with chocolate, n'est pas?

Oh ... there's also a recipe for the chocolate viennois right here and I say you do as I do, and make both at the same time. Because Christmas is coming and home made treats make the best gifts. Also, did you not sign up for a cookie exchange? This one is definitely going to blow everyone's socks off. Surely now you need a triple batch!

The viennois batter is going to be on the slightly sticky and wet side and are best piped to shape. This isn't one to press or scoop. They bake super fast and you really need to keep watching them like a hawk. I really like mine a bit golden on the edges, and believe me, they go from golden to browned to charred really quickly.

Nothing says decadence like specks of vanilla on a cookie, and nothing says indulgence like a dark chocolate dip. This is seriously cookie heaven, folks. Time to crank up the mixer ...

190 g (13 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp fleur de sel, or kosher salt
80 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) icing sugar, sifted
30 g (1 large) egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, scraped
230 g (1-3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) all purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F.
2. Line 2 baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

3. Beat the butter with the salt until butter is smooth and slightly lightened in colour.
4. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fluffy and pale.
5. Beat in the egg white, then the vanilla extract along with the scrapings of the bean.
6. On a low speed, fold in the flour, mixing just until no more streaks remain.

7. Fit a piping bag with a star tip and pipe rosettes or S swirls on the baking sheet, placing them 3 cm (about 1 inch) apart.
8. Bake each sheet for 10-12 minutes until just slightly starting to turn golden on the edges.
9. Cool in the sheet for 10 minutes before removing them to cool completely on the cooling rack.

If you actually have those empty blue tins, get some paper cases coz now is the time to fill 'er up.

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